If you’ve seen the movie The Devil Wears Prada you may be trying to remember when the bar scene happens in the film. It’s okay, you’re not going crazy, it’s super quick and Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) doesn’t even have a drink in it. Yet it’s that critical moment when she meets Christian Thompson (Simon Baker) at the St. Regis in NYC and chooses to accept the Harry Potter manuscript from him, placing herself firmly in his debt. The question of choice comes up a lot for Andy and her answer throughout the film is that she simply doesn’t have any. After all, a million girls would kill to have her job. Andy’s work relationship with Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) and the way in which it consumes her life is the central theme of the movie, but I’ve always thought that there is an equally important fall from grace that occurs between her and Christian Thompson. From the instant she meets him at a cocktail party at James Holt’s (Daniel Sunjata) loft, she’s clearly intrigued. He is the direct antithesis of her boyfriend Nate (Adrien Grenier) in every possible way AND he’s a writer who knows everyone in the publishing world. In the loft scene, she has a glass of punch in her hand which she sets down after Christian informs her of its dangerous potency. It’s interesting that she picks it back up again the minute he tells her that he’d be willing to take a look at her work. We already sense that this is going to come at a great personal cost to her.
I confess to seeing this movie so many times that it most definitely falls into the guilty pleasures category for me, along with my love for Taylor Swift and really good pizza. Virgos are, after all, the fashionistas of the zodiac and the “Vogue” scene gets me every time. I have, however, thought about it seriously enough to ask the question as to whether Andy Sachs is passionately fashionable or fashionably passionate. The distinction makes a difference, right? I would argue that Miranda Priestly and Christian Thompson are passionately fashionable, as are Emily Charlton and Nigel, played so memorably by Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci. All of these characters know exactly who they are and they understand the expectations of the world in which they live. Andy considers herself to be more, and sees her position as Miranda’s assistant to be just a stepping stone on the way to a career as a serious journalist. Yet she succumbs to the irresistible pull of couture clothing and the frenetically exciting pace that goes along with almost any job in the fashion industry. And she wants to please Miranda, Nigel, and even Emily at times, so much so that she allows herself to become fashionably passionate about things that never mattered to her before working for Runway Magazine. In the process of doing so, she ends up compromising all of her personal relationships and her moral principles, with her lowest moment being the night she spends with Christian. Yes she’d had too much wine to drink in the most romantic city in the world, but the choice to go with him was always hers, in much the same way as the professional choices she makes belonged only to her. It’s the realization of this fact that brings her back to her senses in the end, and we see her return to her former self. She’s a bit wiser, and humbled, and definitely more fashionable, but she’s regained her appreciation for all the things about which she’s truly passionate.
I decided to make today’s cocktail a kind of study in opposites and things that were unexpected. I started out with Buffalo Trace bourbon as my base spirit because of its smooth sweetness. I then reached for my bottle of Suze, which was definitely something different for me since I usually pair it with lighter spirits. I added Element’s pineapple turmeric shrub because it gave me a way to build on either side. I used Biotta’s celery root juice to bring in some vegetal notes and blend beautifully with the Suze, and simple syrup to contribute just a bit of sweetness. A splash of lemon juice brightened the entire drink. So are you passionately fashionable or fashionably passionate?? This is a drink that’ll help you ponder that question. Cheers everyone. Happy Monday!
Add all the ingredients to a shaker tin with ice and shake until very cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express a lemon peel over the drink and garnish with it. Enjoy!